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Recall of Pet Food Affects Major Suppliers

By Timmy Watson in News on Mar 18, 2007 3:36PM

Among the many commonalities we have here at Chicagoist is that of a love for pets. The office is constantly abuzz with pictures of cats and dogs alike. Needless to say we are a little worried about the recent news that a massive recall of cat and dog food by major companies was released 07_03_18_iams.jpgon Friday due to certain foods causing kidney failure and loss of appetite. Menu foods, which produces dog and cat food, said it was recalling 48 brands of dog food and 40 brands of cat food. Menu Foods produces pet food for 17 of the top 20 retailers in the U.S. The food was distributed by large retailers such as Wal-Mart, Kroger and Safeway.

While we traditionally try to feed our feline friend Science Diet Hairball Control, we occasionally pick up Iams because of the convenience of finding everywhere. The recall is attributed to a new supplier of wheat gluten the companies were using. The associated press reports that the wheat gluten, a source of protein, may not be the exact source, but it could be a substance used in the wheat gluten. The recall covers the cuts and gravy style food which is sold in cans and pouches.

Retail sales of pet food generates around $11.2 billion a year. The widely available and cheaper pet food, including Iams and Menu Foods, have come under increased scrutiny in the past few years, with PETA and other groups complaining of animal cruelty in the company labs. Additionally, the ingredients used in a lot of the foods are coming from sources not identified on the packaging. Ann Martin wrote a book on her findings, titled "Food Pets Die For: Shocking Facts about Pet Food" which goes in to some pretty gory details.

For more information on the recall, the press release from Menu Foods is here. The site also has links to specific foods affected. Two other food manufacturers, Nestle Purina PetCare Co. and Hill's Pet Nutrition Inc., voluntarily recalled some of their products as well.